Research & Education
CCB combines the research strengths and interests of 30 faculty from nine different departments and five colleges, each among the best in the world, to provide unparalleled opportunities for innovative foundational and applied research and learning at the interface of computation and biology. CCB has chosen as its central goal the computational interpretation of variation in the human genome. Given that the $1,000 genome sequence is less than 5 years away, and given that so little of human genetic variation can be interpreted with respect to its biological significance, we believe this is the defining grand challenge for human biology in this century. The individual expertise and highly collaborative nature of our faculty and fellows will allow us to achieve this goal, as their respective interests range from Biostatistics, to phylogenetics, to human population genetics, to applications of new algorithms and machine learning to human genomics, to genome annotation and RNA analysis, to protein folding and structure, to regulatory site analysis and systems biology and to functional analysis of human genetic and epigenetic variation. In short, there is no class of genetic variation that falls outside of our expertise.
To this end, CCB has chosen as its flagship project the Genome Commons and Navigator (PI:Steven Brenner), an inter-campus collaborative project at UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco that will build open access tools and databases to transform genomic information into predictive, preventative, and personalized medical care. In short, the Genome Commons amalgamates information about the relationships between genetic variation and its impact to create a repository of genotype-phenotype relationships. The Genome Commons Navigator is an extensible infrastructure that analyzes an individual’s genome by applying knowledge in the Genome Commons to yield a report of genetic variation and its interpretation.
An essential element of our mission is to train the best students at the undergraduate and graduate levels in Computational Biology. CCB faculty teach courses in high-demand fields such as biology, bioengineering, computer science, and mathematics. The training in the Center focuses on a combination of course work and hands-on laboratory mentoring in individual research projects. Graduate students wishing to train with the faculty may do so through the Designated Emphasis in Computational Biology and Genomics, a Certificate program that confers a certification of accomplishment in Computational Biology. DE students are first admitted to graduate study through one of the departments with which center faculty are affiliated, and the students then work toward a Ph.D. in that Department.